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82-year-old woman found dead outside personal care home in Ross Township

Woman found dead outside Ross Township personal care home
Woman found dead outside Ross Township personal care home 02:56

ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) -- Multiple agencies are investigating after an elderly woman was found dead outside the personal care home in Ross Township where she lived. 

The death was ruled an accident, but a lot of questions still remain. 

Police say it doesn't seem to be anything but accidental. The family wants to know how she managed to slip out of the home unnoticed and how long she was outside.  

"We are speaking with all the people who are working there and trying to determine when she was last seen and compare that to when she was found," Ross Township Deputy Chief Brian Kohlhepp said.

Kohlhepp says 82-year-old Nancy Tyler, who lived at Mt. Assisi Place in Ross Township was first reported missing to 911 at 10:10 Sunday morning. Less than an hour later at 11:03, Tyler was found outside by staff of the personal care home. She was pronounced dead on the scene. 

"She was outside, obviously, but she was on property, she was sitting on a bench that was close to the main building," Kohlhepp said.

The medical examiner listed Tyler's primary cause of death as coronary artery disease and hypothermia as the second, the manner of death as accidental. Kohlhepp says the cause and manner findings help his department rule out anything criminal.

But the big question is: how did the 82-year-old slip out of the home unseen and how long was she outside in the cold?

"Her getting out is certainly something that DHS and I'm sure the facility themselves are trying to explore and figure out so they can cover any deficiencies that may exist there," Kohlhepp said. 

The director of Mt. Assisi declined KDKA-TV requests for an interview but provided this statement: "We mourn the loss of Mrs. Tyler. As required by our privacy obligations and out of respect for the family, we have no comment at this time." 

The death was reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, which is also conducting an investigation.

In a statement to KDKA-TV, a spokesperson says: "The Department of Human Services (DHS) takes reports and complaints about the safety of individuals in licensed facilities very seriously and we work to ensure that any potential violations that put people at risk are handled urgently. This incident has been reported to DHS and we are actively investigating; we cannot comment further on specific investigations." 

"You assume as part of the public that these places are locked up and they're keeping good track of people but apparently somehow she managed to walk away and that's pretty surprising," said neighbor Bob Richey.

Tyler's family says she had dementia and this wasn't the first time she got out of the facility.

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